An evaluation of the contribution of the basel mission and Presbyterian Church of Ghana to the socio-economic development of the Agogo Traditional Area

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July, 2013
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If the beliefs that knit together practitioners of any religion are not existentially relevant, intellectually stimulating and socially refreshing leading to the ultimate transformation of the nation, all efforts will be a waste of time. Religion is a process of ultimate transformation and also creates an awareness that is transforming. There is no doubt that Christianity has helped African governments in building African nations. In the light of this, Christianity and Islam are very relevant to Ghana’s socio-economic development. It is in this regard that this research work sought to examine the activities of the Basel Mission and the Presbyterian Church of Ghana’s contribution to socio-economic development of Agogo Traditional Area. This thesis examined and evaluated the culture and resources of the people in Agogo. In an attempt to assess the Basel Mission contribution to the socio-economic development of Agogo traditional area; interviews were conducted with some target groups and questionnaire were also distributed to traditional leaders, ministers of the church, elders, catechists and ordinary people in Agogo. Teachers and hospital administrators were also interviewed. Brochures on anniversary activities and the old chronicle of Ebenezer congregation were read and other relevant sources from the internet were used with caution. It found out among others that, before the arrival of the Missionaries in Agogo Traditional Area, the people regarded priest and priestess -Traditional Authority - as sacred because of their extraordinary position in the society. The arrival of the Basel Missionaries introduced Christian ethical and moral principles that were inconsistent with the laid down customs and norms of the people. This undermined the traditional authorities in a way. In spite of this, there existed cordial relationship between the chiefs and the missionaries and this made the missionary enterprise of the Basel Mission a success. It found out that, PCG prioritised their works relationship with the Agogo Traditional Authority, with the view that, they are potential partners in development. It noted that, the traditional leaders and their subjects’ contribution aided the Basel Mission and Presbyterian Church of Ghana for thorough social change in Agogo State. Nana Yaw Asamoah, Nana Kwadwo Agyekum and the current occupant of the stool have contributed enormously to the socio-economic development of Agogo in partnership with the church. This is in the area of hospitality and corporation in giving large portion of land and also laboured to bring the desire infrastructure in place. The thesis further noted that, the cultural belief of the people was a key to understanding the gospel. Many women of substance and also many citizens of Agogo state benefited by receiving formal education from the church and these have attained great heights by contributing to knowledge, scholarship and health facilities not only have these persons brought honours and praise to Agogo but also to the nation at large. This not only changed the way they earn a living, they have witnessed an unprecedented shift in the society’s basic values. We therefore recommend that the Church and other Traditional state leadership should emulate the Agogo Traditional Area example to enhance the socio-economic development of their respective areas and the country at large.
A thesis submitted to the School of Research and Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree ofMaster of Philosophy (Religious Studies),